Tere are three parts to this recipe:

Semolina Base

2 cups semolina, the courser grain    2/3 cup sugar    3 tablespoons of melted butter (room temperature)    8 tablespoons of orange blossom water

Use a sheet pan (cookie sheet) to toast the semolina in the oven preheated to 350º degrees. Be sure to stir the semolina often so that it toasts as even as possible. It will still resemble a yellow color, but will have speckles of brown. Toasting imparts a nutty flavor and add complexity to the dessert. Let the semolina cool before adding the sugar. Combine the semolina and the sugar. Add butter and mix with your hands coating every grain. Add orange blossom water gradually and mix again with your hands. The mixture should feel sandy-damp, but not wet. Depending on your climate, you will need more or less orange blossom water. This recipe is designed for a very dry climate.

Almond Filling

1 cups finely chopped almonds    1/2 teaspoon of cardamom    1/2 cup of sugar    1 tablespoon of orange blossom water

Simply combine all ingredients and set aside.

Syrup

1 1/2 cups of sugar    3 cups of water    juice of 1 small lemon    1 tablespoon of orange blossom water    2 tablespoons of butter

Heat sugar, water, and lemon juice on medium-high heat. Boil for 30 minutes-do not stir once it reaches a boil. Remove from heat, add orange blossom water and butter. Place mixture in freezer to cool. It is important that the syrup be cold before pouring over the Kabl-el-louz.

Garnish

10 almonds blanched and skins removed

Heat a small amount of water in a saucepan. When the water begins to boil add the almonds and simmer until skins loosen on the almonds. Fill pan with cold water to handle the almonds. Remove the skins by pinching the almond. Do not split almonds.

Assembly

Coat a pie plate with butter. Layer a thin amount of the semolina mixture on the bottom. Smooth mixture with the back of a spoon. Add almond filling. Smooth gently and evenly-but do not compact layers. Use the remaining semolina mixture and smooth out evenly. Place in 350ª degree preheated oven for 1 hour.

Remove the cake from the oven and cut into pie slices, and then cut a circle around the center. Pour cold syrup slowly over the cake. The cake will absorb the syrup-it will appear swampy-do not worry. Return the cake to the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and cut the cake into shape again. Place a blanched almond on every piece and return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes longer. Remove the cake from the oven and redefine the cuts of the cake again. Set aside to cool and set. It will take about an hour to set.

If a larger quantity is desired-simply double the recipe and bake in a rectangular pan. It is important that you use a pan that will allow you to add quite a bit of syrup without spilling over the edges.

Serve before dinner to break the Ramadan fast-or serve after dinner as a delicious Algerian sweet. Enjoy!

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